Israeli Air Force intercepts U.S. Civilian plane


#1

Israeli fighters divert Continental flight to stop feared terror attack
By israelinsider staff April 11, 2007

Israel scrambled fighter jets to divert an American commercial passenger plane back out to sea and then escorted it till landing Wednesday afternoon at Ben-Gurion International Airport, Israeli officials said. An Airports Authority spokeswoman said Continental Airlines’ Flight 90 with about 300 passengers aboard was intercepted after failing to identify itself upon entering Israeli airspace.

Following established anti-terror procedures, two Israel Air Force F-16s above and two F-15s below intercepted Flight 90 from Newark and forced it back over the Mediterranean until communications were restored.

The Transportation Ministry said it was checking whether there was a technical reason for the initial lack of communication between the plane and Israeli ground control. It was suspected that the pilot did not switch to the correct frequency.

A senior Air Force officer said that the IAF went on high alert due to the suspicious incoming aircraft, the Jerusalem Post reported. He said that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz were updated about the event and IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi as well as IAF chief Maj.-Gen. Elazar Shkedy were placed “online” in case an interception order was needed. “This was the closest we ever came to intercepting a civilian airplane,” the officer said. The implication of an interception was that the plane would have been forced down, or shot down.

According to the officer, the pilotcontacted Ben-Gurion Air Traffic Control from a distance of 200 miles from Israel but then contact was lost. After the plane reached a 40-mile distance from Israel – five-minutes to Tel Aviv – the IAF dispatched its fighter jets.

The plane was allowed to land after radio contact was established.


#2

Well on the topic of IAF, enjoy the following;

A mini documentary of a mid-air collision between an Israeli A-4, and an Israeli F-15, leaving the F-15 with one wing, 10 miles from the runway.

[]F-15 video ](http://www.videosift.com/story.php?id=6429)


#3

AP
Missile Test Forces Jet to Turn Back
Friday April 13, 11:28 am ET
By Niniek Karmini, Associated Press Writer
Indian Missile Test Forced Indonesian Passenger Jet to Turn Back

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) – An Indonesian jet carrying hundreds of passengers was forced to turn around over Indian airspace after a nuclear-capable ballistic missile streaked across the sky, the Foreign Ministry said Friday.

Indonesia has demanded an explanation from New Delhi, which insisted that aviation authorities were informed about Thursday’s test launch well in advance.

The Garuda Indonesia Boeing 747 was en route from Jakarta to Saudi Arabia when the Indian control tower told pilots the missile had been launched, said Ari Sapari, the national carrier’s director.

“We were not given any advance warning about this missile test,” he said. “This was obviously confusing and worrying. It also caused us to disrupt an international flight schedule – a great financial expense.”

Government officials did not say how far the plane was from the missile.

The plane carrying 413 people immediately returned to Jakarta and took off again for Jeddah seven hours later, he said. Another Garuda plane bound for Riyadh also had to delay its departure Thursday because of the test.

Indonesia – which is struggling to defend its transportation safety record after a series of deadly air, train and ferry accidents – said it would summon a diplomat from India to seek clarification.

“We have to make sure this does not happen in the future,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Kristiarto Legowo told reporters Friday.

India said Indonesia and other air traffic controllers across the region had been properly informed about its plans to test-fire its longest-range missile, the Agni III.

“A notice was sent a week before the test,” said government spokesman Navtej Sarna. Aviation officials were told “about the launch window date, danger time, zone and height,” he said, and had been advised to “issue notice to aviators and mariners.”

The Agni III missile, which is designed to reach 1,900 miles, was launched from Wheeler Island off the eastern state of Orissa and is said to be capable of carrying up to a 300-kiloton nuclear warhead.


#4

I guess the question begging to be answered is: What airspace was the Garuda 747 in when the missile was fired? An educated guess would be Indian airspace, but why would the jet be cleared for the airspace if the controllers knew the test would be taking place? Something definitely doesn’t add up here, and I’m thinking it’s on the Indian side of things. Somebody (along the high-stakes game of telephone) dropped the ball. A notice was sent to Indonesian authorities a week ago… Think maybe an update or friendly reminder MAY have been in order?!